Now that you’ve seen the film. We wanted to take the opportunity to get down to the nitty gritty of it all.
While most critics have been bashing Zac Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, I went in a bit less skeptical. I approached the film with the mindset that the writers were going to cater a wide audience, not just the comic book fans. However, my biggest issue was the portrayal of Batman, where he was easily tricked by Lex Luthor into fighting Superman. Anyone who has read a Batman comic would know that Batman is an intelligent man of thought and that if Zac Snyder were really basing the portrayal of the Dark Knight off of Frank Miller’s comic The Dark Knight Returns, Batman wouldn’t have been so easily duped. Not to mention we would’ve seen a more experienced, intelligent, and paranoid Batman; one that wouldn’t have been immediately manipulated by Luthor and his plans. Given the intended demographic, a general audience and not just the comic book readers, I understand this portrayal of the Dark Knight for the casual Batman v Superman viewer. Do I wish they had stayed closer to the comic books? Yes, I do, because the source material is great, from the plot to character development.
Which brings me to another aspect of the film that was a great problem for many viewers: the fact that Batman kills in this movie. People have turned this into a big issue and called it an unrealistic portrayal of Batman. For me, this is actually an issue I’m a bit forgiving on. Batman originally was a gun-toting hero who would kill villains readily. The no-killing rule came later on, yet this is one of those rules that people in general think is part of the quintessential Batman. The reason I am forgiving about this is because of a line in this movie when Bruce Wayne (Batman) is talking to Wonder Woman during Superman’s funeral: he says, “I failed him in life, I won’t fail him in death.” That specific line is key to Batman’s character development, where he used to kill and now he will not in honor of Superman’s memory. Now in Man of Steel Superman did kill, we know this, but by taking Zod’s life in the end he learned the value life. The same thing happens to Batman upon Superman’s supposed death, he learns the value of life and to me this indicates that he will no longer kill for the remainder of the DCU (DC Cinematic Universe). While conjecture is all well and good, it’s important to consider if DC will actually go through with this. Only time will tell.
Now we must consider Wonder Woman, who also plays a part in the movie and is rather underutilized as a character when it comes to plot development. She appears out of nowhere during a party hosted by Lex, and it is never explained what her powers really are in this continuity. Her appearance was one of the best parts of the movie, but she was underdeveloped and her origins were not clear. Her appearance in the end triggered more questions than were answered. It is noted that she was there at the party for the same reasons Bruce was, to get information from Lex Luthor’s database. Superman, aka Clark Kent, for the most part is obsessed with bringing down Batman since he doesn’t agree with Batman methods. He is also dealing with the aftermath of the events of Man of Steel, which has divided the world over his continued existence and how they should deal with an alien appearing in their world. This lead to my thought that they could have split this movie into two movies. One to explain the aftermath of the Man of Steel events with the introduction of Batman/Bruce Wayne at the end of the second act, providing a perfect setup for the second movie. The second movie would’ve focused on the clash between Batman and Superman while introducing the other JLA (Justice League of America) members in a clearer way. As it was, the brief introduction of these characters was rushed, more of a teaser than anything when Wonder Woman is looking into the Metahuman files in Lex Luthor’s database.
In terms of the film itself, it was a good movie that had its strong points and weak points, just like any other movie. For an action film it was good, but the pacing of the movie struggled, where some scenes didn’t really feel like they needed to be there. These scenes could’ve been cut to make way for scenes that would’ve answered questions that kept popping up throughout the movie. For example, Wonder Woman’s motives, powers, and history. Were the critics too harsh in their condemnation of Batman v Superman? I think so, as the public ratings are countering their ratings, and the revenue for the opening weekend spoke for itself. This movie was created for the DC fans who go in with the mind that there will be things changed to target a wider audience, and as a result the casual fan will appreciate it too. It was an ambitious film, it accomplished its goals and overall it set the stage for the future of the DCU, which is in constant competition with the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe). In the end, this movie was satisfying yet makes me hope for more with the rest of the DCU movies to follow, now that a solid foundation has been created by Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice